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Colorado National Bank

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1915, William E. Fisher and Arthur A. Fisher. 1924, Merrill H. and Burnham F. Hoyt. 1965, Rogers-Nagel. 1975, Minoru Yamasaki. 918 17th St. (at Champa St.)

Twenty fluted Ionic columns and bronze window screens front this Colorado Yule marble Greek temple for which William E. Fisher and Arthur A. Fisher prepared more than 135 pages of typed specifications, forty-four architectural drawings on waxed linen, and full-scale models of all ornament. Seerie Brothers, the contractors, provided weekly construction photos to document the progress of the steel frame rising from a 7-footthick reinforced concrete slab, 35 feet below grade.

Merrill and Burnham Hoyt designed a flawlessly matched addition along Champa Street in 1926. They also enlisted Allen True to paint his romantic Indian Memories series of lobby murals, a tribute to Native Americans that is reminiscent of Greek art in style and in its depiction of a mythical past.

John B. Rogers and Jerome K. Nagel formed a partnership to design the 1965 addition of two stories above the prominent cornice in a respectful but contemporary manner with a matching white marble skin. Next door at 17th and Curtis, Minoru Yamasaki's twenty-six-story bank tower is sheathed in white marble similar to that of the parent building. Contrasting tinted glass gives the tower symmetry and a sense of proportion and stability. Instead of crowding the site, Yamasaki left a street corner plaza for Harry Bertoia's 1975 sculpture, a 20-foot-high wind chime made of beryllium copper rods with brass top weights. Yamasaki, who is best known as the architect of the World Trade Center in New York City, said he strove to avoid creating another of the “many brutal buildings being built today” by making this one “elegant, delightful and serene.”

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


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Thomas J. Noel, "Colorado National Bank", [Denver, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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